Weight is one of the primary considerations when choosing which spinning reel you want to buy.
After all, you shouldn’t worry about your reel while you’re contending with the catch of your lifetime.
However, there are many spinning reels out there marketed to be ‘ultralight’ – but which one should you pick?
This article will examine the top 10 best ultralight reels and conduct in-depth reel reviews so that you can choose the best one for your needs.
At a Glance
Top Class Ultralight Spinning Reels of The Year
This reel is worth it if you want an elegant yet powerfully efficient spinning reel that is so sturdy, you can even pass it as an heirloom to your grandchildren.
- Sizes: S (1000, 2500, 3000) to M (4000, 5000)
- Weight: 6.5oz for size 1000
- Bearings: 7
- Gear Ratio: 6.0:1, 6.2:1, and 6.4:1
- Sleek modern design
- Powerful flagship-level performance
- Worry-free fishing in both fresh and saltwater
- Very expensive compared to average prices
The Stradic FL is the best ultralight spinning reel from Shimano – even better than its cousins, the micro spinning reels Shimano Sedona Fi and Shimano Stradic Ci4, primarily due to its graceful yet beastly design and functional capacities.
It’s made out of Shimano’s special Hagane Body steel to make the reel extremely rigid.
Meanwhile, its casing is coated with Shimano’s X-Protect technology, a silver coating protecting the reel from weather, water, and corrosion.
This ultralight fishing reel also has various parts made out of a variety of high-end materials, such as cold-forged aluminum, carbon fiber drag system, cross carbon drag, graphite, and steel.
Its materials and construction facilitate a premium fishing experience.
\Its sturdy body supports Shimano’s various technologies like the Propulsion Line Management System, eliminating backlashes and lengthening your cast range.
Its SA-RB corrosion-resistant ball bearings are resistant to damage by foreign materials your encounter in fishing, such as sand and salt. It is also specially designed to prevent fatigue, transfer power efficiently, and maximize gear tolerance.
It’s quite unforgiving in terms of price and is one of the most expensive out there – but it is still the best ultra light spinning reel you can buy today, perfect for ultralight rods.
If you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for a solid fishing experience, consider getting a reliable performance from the Daiwa BG1500. It’s not the cheapest, but it won’t break the bank either.
- Sizes: S (1500 to 3000), M (4000 to 6000), and L (7000 to 8000)
- Weight: 8.5oz for size 1500
- Bearings: 7
- Gear Ratio: 5.6:1, 5.7:1, 5.3:1
- Lots of sizes to choose from
- Hard anodized aluminum body
- Inexpensive for the performance
- Buttery-smooth retrieve
- Impressive drag power
- Not the lightest among the listed
- Spool is not anodized, only painted
The Daiwa BG series sports mid-ranged reliability that can match most spinning reels that are higher-priced.
Despite its strength, the reel remains to be lightweight and very maneuverable.
With its lightweight aluminum body coated with a sleek-looking black and gold anodized finish, it’s certainly one of the best ultralight fishing reels on the market right now.
It also has varied sizing options, which means you have plenty to choose from when planning to fish, whether freshwater, in-shore, or deep sea.
It features an uncompromising performance even among ultra light reels: its ATD drag feature gives you fluid reel action to cast light lures for smaller fish while at rest, then snapping into excellent viscosity during the drag.
Daiwa’s Digigear System allows you to harness the power of oversized gears with more contact, which results in smoother retrieve, increased torque, and improved gear durability.
The spinning reel also has a balanced Air Rotor system, an anti-reverse system, and Daiwa’s Infinite Anti-reverse System.
It does have its downsides, though.
Although it’s much lighter than the average reel, it’s also not the lightest on the list.
The spool is also just painted, unlike the anodized body.
Imperfections aside, its great features still make it one of the best ultralight spinning reels, as well as the best spinning reel, on the market right now.
One of the lightest in the bunch, the Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Reel doesn’t let its light construction affect its heavy performance.
- Sizes: S (2500, 3000) and M (3500, 4000)
- Weight: 9.6oz for size 3500
- Bearings: 10
- Gear Ratio: 5.2:1, 6.2:1
- Made to last
- Fast and smooth retrieval
- Professional-looking aesthetics
- Ultra-lightweight design is comfortable for long-term fishing
- Prone to bail catches on assembly
- Bail can close while in the middle of the cast
With its matte-black and red combo, the Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Reel is a lean and mean ultralight reel that can take whatever you throw at it.
The lightweight reel has a body and rotor that are made of sturdy magnesium, with a braid-ready aluminum spool, sealed carbon drag, carbon handle, and topped with a comfortable EVA knob.
It’s a reliable fishing gear that you can take to whatever fishing adventure you have, whether salt or freshwater.
Its 9.6-ounce weight is one of the most comfortable around, allowing you to catch fish for long periods without getting tired.
It also has an impressively sensitive reeling action, courtesy of its nine-bearing count plus one roller bearing, high gear ratio, and a well-fitting EVA knob for increased comfort.
It can also handle a linear and braided fishing line.
This ultralight reel is excellent overall, but there are some kinks that you have to keep in mind.
First of all, a minor part of the line guide design makes it especially prone to catching the bail dring assembly.
It’s also common for the bail to close while you’re in the process of casting, crashing the line, or even snapping off the lure.
That said if you’re looking for an ultralight reel that you can use in many scenarios, this one’s for you.
Abu Garcia’s ultralight spinning reel offering is specifically designed to be both efficient and very comfortable.
- Sizes: S (1000, 2000, 3000), M (4000)
- Weight: 7.7 oz for size 2000
- Bearings: 7
- Gear Ratio: 5.8:1, 5.2:1, 5.6:1, 6.2:1
- Sleek, all-black design
- Butter-smooth casting and retrieval
- Very lightweight and comfortable fishing
- A strong yet light carbon body and graphite spool
- Can be prone to catching and sticking during the crank
The Abu Garcia Revo X Spinning Reel has a unique, all-black design that makes it feel like a ghost in your hand while at rest that can bring in the power when needed.
Because of its Insert Molded C6 carbon body and a lightweight graphite rotor, the reel is one of the lightest on our list, despite sporting a sturdiness that won’t lose to the bulkiest products in the market. It also features large soft knobs and slow oscillation.
As a result, you get a super comfortable reel that you can use all day to chase after fish of all sizes, unlike most ultralight reels.
This UL spinning reel also features an excellent line-up of Abu Garcia’s best technologies.
It features a Carbon Matric drag system, Everlast bail system for butter-smooth casting, Rocket Line Management System to prevent line twists and kinks, and an angled spool lip – all to create a top-of-the-line fishing experience minus the bulk.
All of it comes at an affordable price tag that will fit the most budget-conscious anglers.
It still does have a few caveats, though.
One of them is that this model is prone to catching and sticking on the crank if you’re using it for fishes larger than it’s equipped to handle.
Regardless, if you want the best spinning reel for lightweight purposes, you can’t go wrong with Abu Garcia Revo X.
With its solid features and accessible price point, this lightweight spinning reel is a good choice for anglers who are still trying things out.
- Sizes: S (2000, 2500, 3000) to M (3500, 4000)
- Weight: 6.2oz for size 2000
- Bearings: 7
- Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
- Very lightweight yet sturdy
- Smooth casting and drag
- Whisper soft sounds during use
- Only for freshwater use
- Prone to spool system malfunction
Beginner anglers don’t need fancy equipment; they need a lightweight reel that gets things done while being affordable and comfortable. In that sense, the Pflueger President is the perfect reel for beginners.
It has a sleek, blue-green, and gold accent finish protecting a light yet sturdy graphite body.
It also has a sealed drag system, which keeps the drag lubricated and reduces the likelihood of being damaged from the elements.
With this reel, you get a machined and anodized braid ready spool which is made ready to use with a braided line, as well as a 10-bearing construction that guarantees smooth action throughout.
It casts well, doesn’t emit much noise during use, and offers an excellent drag.
However, it’s only rated for use in freshwater, so that’s a significant limiting factor for those who want to try. One of its main issues occurs during spooling, so be ready to face those kinds of problems.
Overall though, if you’re looking for ultralight spinning reels for your freshwater fishing, this one is a great choice.
Strong and balanced, but doesn’t break the bank – the Penn Fierce Spinning Fishing Reels are for those who want durability without the maximum cost.
- Sizes: 1000, 2000, 2500,
- Weight: 7.8oz for size 1000
- Bearings: 5
- Gear Ratio: 5.2:1, 5.3:1 5.6:1, 6.2:1,
- Very cost-effective
- Highly durable exterior
- Tangle-free spooling system
- Excellent cast, retrieve, and drag
- Relatively fragile gears
- Slightly bulkier compared to others on the list
If you’re a fan of ultralightweight spinning reels, then this series’ red and matte black design should be familiar. These spinning reels from Penn are among the most well-known because of their weight.
While they’re among the bulkiest in the ultralight list, they’re certainly light enough to make it to the top ten.
Besides, a little bit of weight is exchanged for top-notch durability.
These reels’ body and side plate are made out of aluminum, while a sturdy graphite rotor ensures that your line action remains top-quality no matter what paces you put them through.
More than that, these ultralight reels have everything you want for your fishing exploits, such as Penn’s Superline spool system, a heavy-duty bail wire, and an oiled-felt drag system.
Not to mention, they’re also very cost-effective for the amount of performance that you get.
However, take note that their externals seem to be more fragile than their exteriors. Also, their gears might need changing out every once in a while.
Nonetheless, for the best ultralight spinning reels that can handle heavy use, you can count on these two PENN favorites.
If you want ultralight reels that will elevate your freshwater experience, it’s time to electrify your hunt with KastKing’s energetic, powerful, and lightweight offering.
- Sizes: S (500, 2000, 3000) M (4000, 5000)
- Weight: 6.9oz for size 500
- Bearings: 10
- Gear Ratio: 4.5:1, 5.2:1
- Attractive aesthetics
- Lightweight yet highly durable body
- 10-bearing smoothness when casting
- Only for freshwater use
- Slower retrieval than usual
With its glossy black body and electric blue highlights, the KastKing Centron will surely catch the eye of your fishing buddies.
But it’s not just for show. It’s also one of the best ultralight spinning reels on the market.
Despite its weight, the KastKing Centron is highly durable.
It has a machined aluminum spool and high-powered Superior Drag System with a maximum drag of 17.5 lbs, protected by a narrow graphite body.
It also offers a smooth and lightweight casting experience, thanks in large part to its balanced design and ten ball bearings.
However, one of its caveats is that it’s only rated for freshwater use, so the seasoned saltwater angler can’t use it.
It doesn’t have a high gear ratio, so its retrieval is relatively slow, but you’ll appreciate that particular characteristic for more control or when jigging.
That said, for an ultralight spinning reel that you want to strictly use for your freshwater escapades, look no further than KastKing Centron.
If you want something that you can take to look for a record-breaking catch in the deep seas and take for a leisurely ride for smaller game fish on the shore, the Penn Battle II ultralight spinning reel should be what you should bring with you.
- Sizes: S (1000, 1200, 1600, 2000, 3000) to M (5000)
- Weight: 8.1oz for size 1000
- Bearings: 6
- Gear Ratio: 5.2:1, 5.3:1, 6.2:1
- Quick-shift gear options
- Heavy-duty drag system
- Ultra-durable metal design
- Grippy anti-reverse for a solid cast
- Bulkier than most
With its premium all-metal design, black body, and gold tri, the Penn Battle II is a well-known classic in the world of spinning reels.
It’s a beast of a reel, capable of withstanding high levels of abuse from battles and the elements, something that you can keep in top shape with the bare minimum amount of maintenance yet will still perform at its peak.
Performance-wise, it also doesn’t disappoint.
This ultralight spinning reel sports powerful stainless steel gears, a lever drag system, and instantly-variable gears.
These features will come incredibly handy when you need power with the flexibility to wrangle a record-breaking catch.
However, it’s far from cheap. If you want to play with the Penn Battle II, you need to be ready to pay for it. More than that, it’s also one of the bulkiest lightweight reels we have around.
Compared to the other lightweight reels on this list, the Okuma Avenger ABF is simply a steal.
- Sizes: S (500, 1000, 3000), M(4000, 6000), L (8000)
- Weight: 7.7oz for size 500
- Bearings: 7
- Gear Ratio: 4.5:1, 5:1
- Sleek and clean aesthetics
- CFR design for easier drying
- Auto-trip bait-feeding system
- Performance struggles with larger fishes
Out of the box, the Okuma Avenger ABF model boasts a sleek, all-silver design that highlights its gracefulness while still looking like a quality reel because of its all-metal body and forged zinc handle.
Just like the Okuma Ceymar spinning reel, it’s not just the looks that are eye-catching.
This ultralight spinning reel also has a bait feeding system that you can turn on or off, Cyclonic Flow Rotor for better drying, and a reliable drag. A
ll of that translates into a beautiful fishing experience that looks and feels premium.
This best priced reel is excellent for small fish, particularly suited to be a crappie reel, but beyond that, the performance of this reel will struggle when forced to fight with something beyond its intended range.
The Pflueger Supreme XT 3000 Ultralight Spinning Reel is the lightest spinning reel on our list – but of course, it doesn’t sacrifice weight for functionality.
- Sizes: S (2500, 3000, 3500) M (4000)
- Weight: 6oz for size 2500
- Bearings: 11
- Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
- Sturdy yet light
- Buttery-smooth retrieval
- Super comfortable ultra-lightweight design
- A little less versatile compared to the 3500
The smaller version of the previously-mentioned Pflueger Supreme XT, this fishing reel is guaranteed to deliver the same level of quality and functionality as this list’s third-placer.
However, it loses the previously-mentioned SUPXTSP35X in terms of an ultralight spinning reel size and line capacity.
The previous reel model can handle larger fishes for longer fights; the SUPXTSP30X is a little less versatile but does well on smaller fish to a mid-sized catch.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are ultralight spinning reels?
These are fishing reels that use an exposed free-spinning wheel to reel in the line. This is in contrast to a baitcasting reel. Baitcasting reels have their wheels protected by a sturdy casing and have different features.
Thus, quality reels of this type are specially designed to reduce weight and increase the user's comfort.
What’s the best ultralight spinning reel?
The best ultralight reel in this category is the Shimano Stradic spinning reel, a perfect balance between weight, functionality, and sturdiness.
Who should get ultralight spinning reels?
People who want to fish for long hours might need the additional comfort that ultralight gear provides their wrists. This includes a UL spinning reel, ultralight tackle, some light lures, light line, and ultralight rod. The lightest spinning reels are also suitable for maneuverability.